28 Dec 2011

Campaign continues for restoration of Sir Michael Somare as PNG prime minister

12:15 pm on 28 December 2011

Despite Peter O'Neill's solid grip on government in Papua New Guinea, the rival Somare group still maintains it is the legitimate administration.

The country was plunged into political turmoil just over two weeks ago when the Supreme Court ruled the O'Neill government put in place in August was illegal and it restored Sir Michael Somare as prime minister.

In a flurry of controversial law changes the O'Neill group re-asserted control and won the backing of key institutions.

However the rival attorney general Sir Arnold Amet says eventually the O'Neill group must realise its law changes were subordinate to the Supreme Court ruling.

He says the Somare camp is seeking declaratory judgements on the purported legitimacy of the O'Neill government.

"So it is not over by a long shot in my opinion. And in our view, Sir Michael, in our contention, is still the legitimately restored Prime Minister by the Supreme Court - the impartial adjudicator of constitutional issues in this nation."

Sir Arnold Amet